Mistakes can happen when you don’t have a time tracking program or solution in place. Your employees may not get paid the money they’re owed, or you may accidentally overpay them. Compliance may become an issue, which will affect your wallet and employee/consumer trust.
If you have a time tracking program in place and you’re still running into time theft or other issues, maybe your solution isn’t solving anything. Maybe you need something more accurate.
What Are the Most Effective Ways to Track Employee Hours?
Even if your time-tracking solution is working for you, there may be something better you haven’t considered.
Here are 5 common employee tracking solutions and how they compare.
Most Effective: GPS and Geofencing Clock-In Apps
Your employees keep their phones with them at all times, so implementing a GPS clock-in system won’t be difficult. There are already several free online time clocks for employees that use GPS tracking to lock in on a person’s location and geofencing to prevent false clock-ins.
If you work in construction and your employees travel between job sites, GPS clock-in apps can pinpoint their location, even when they’re on the move, which keeps you in the loop. GPS clock-in apps are automated, flexible, and scalable, making them a highly effective tool.
Very Effective: Automated Employee Time Tracking Solutions
If you have a lot of employees, an automated employee time tracking solution would be the most effective solution. But considering the average number of employees in a small business is 10, and small businesses account for 99.9% of US companies, you may never need one.
For companies that do have enough employees for an all-in-one time tracking solution, it’s more than worth it. These systems include features like geofencing, GPS tracking, IP address locking, photos, payroll reports, integration, time-off tracking, time tracking, accruals, and much more.
Effective: Tracking Hours With a Non-GPS Mobile App
Cloud-based time-and-attendance systems can track employee time via a mobile app using timesheets. An employee can check their hours within the app, schedule time off, or call in sick. They may also be able to ask other employees to cover their shifts or delegate tasks or projects.
Typically a non-GPS mobile app will be integrated with a calendar, which allows managers to send them updates in real-time. While non-GPS employee tracking apps aren’t as powerful as their GPS cousins, they can help teams communicate their hours effectively to payroll.
Not Effective: Manual Time Clocks or Electronic Punch Clocks
If you’re still using a traditional, manual time clock, you should consider retiring it. Unless the machine has a built-in camera or fingerprint biometrics, time theft will run rampant. At the same time, your employees may not feel comfortable giving that information every time they clock in.
Manual time clocks aren’t accessible to remote employees, so they’ll need to have another way to clock in. To top it off, even the most sophisticated time clocks can’t integrate with payroll and require regular maintenance. You’d be better off throwing out this solution and using Excel.
Least Effective: Manual Timekeeping and/or Time Sheets
While manual timekeeping solutions, like written timesheets and Excel spreadsheets, are easier to use and more accessible to employees, that can be a problem. Since there’s no way to tell who punched in and when, time theft, overtime fraud, and other violations can easily occur.
It’s also hard for payroll to calculate employee hours accurately unless you have few employees who work the same hours. The process is also time-consuming, whether you have 2 or 20 employees. Manual timekeeping is inaccurate, stiff, and provides little security for companies.
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